Is it a herb, a spice or a vegetable? Whatever it is, the flavoursome, aromatic cloves of this little bud are a staple in cooking around the world and without it, our meals would be incredibly, incredibly dull.
We’re talking of course about garlic. Grind it, chop it, crush it, put it in a sauce or drop whole cloves of it into your roast. However you choose to use it, it’s a delicious addition to virtually any meal. Believe it or not, there are even restaurants where you can get garlic bread… As a dessert!
Yet aside from being one of the most versatile, fragrant and tasty ingredients in our kitchens it can also have another benefit. It can keep the neighbourhood’s troublesome cats out of our gardens and prevent them from leaving the smelly deposits that can ruin the time we spend in our beloved outdoor spaces.
The Dangers of Cat Poop
There’s no feeling more dispiriting than realising that your garden has been used as a litter tray by your neighbour’s pets. Not only does it smell like pure evil given form, but it can also be harmful. Don’t worry, it won’t scorch your soil. Its composition is, in fact, similar to that of the kind of cattle manure that’s often used for fertiliser.
However, cat litter is full of potent animal hormones (hence the unholy smell) and can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans and other animals or birds. This is why you must always wear gloves when tidying up after your neighbour’s cats.
Does Garlic Stop Cats Pooing in Your Garden?
Cats’ sense of smell works very differently to ours. How else do you explain their enthusiasm for the smell of a newly open tin of cat food while all the humans in the room fight to control their gag reflex?
The scents that seem pleasant to us can be almost unbearably pungent to our feline counterparts. This is because a cat’s sense of smell is roughly fourteen times stronger than ours owing to the fact that their little noses contain twice as many scent receptors.
Thus, carefully administered doses of garlic can work wonders for keeping cats at bay without damaging your plants.
Beware! Garlic can be Toxic
Garlic, like all members of the onion family, can be toxic to cats in high doses. Fortunately, it really doesn’t take much to keep cats at bay. And in the doses, you’ll be using even the most foolhardy cat who tries their luck by taking a taste won’t experience any adverse effects other than a dicky tummy and a strong desire never to do that again.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at…
The Best Way to Use Garlic
So, if we want to keep wayward moggies out of our garden without doing any harm to other people’s beloved pets, it’s important to use garlic sparingly. Speaking from experience, the best safe way to keep unwelcome cats out of your garden is to use it as the key component in a homemade repellent spray.
Simply fill a spray bottle with water and add a whole clove of crushed garlic. To this add a teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of mustard powder and a few drops of lemon essential oil.
Shake it up and spray it in areas where felines are known to pay a less than sanitary visit!
Voila! Your kitchen’s most versatile ingredient also becomes your garden’s best defence.